High Strangeness: The Hollow Men

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Hollow Men

A fascinating article just appeared today at The Slice, and I think it's essential reading for everyone interested in UFOs and UFO culture.

Titled "Jesus Vs. Aliens: The Culture War Raging in the UFO Capital of the World," the article traces the sad decline of Roswell, NM, once the epicenter of the UFO-Disclosure-Saucer Crash-Alien Contact movements, now a sad, dusty relic soon to be left behind by history. According to the author, this year's July 4th Roswell UFO Festival was a shaky affair, inspiring as much apathy as enthusiasm among the locals. Roswell, it turns out, is a staunchly religious community, and the religious-types have no truck with the UFOs and aliens that have, over the years, brought so much fame and revenue to their town. Can E.T. co-exist with Christ? It seems not.

As I read the article, I couldn't help thinking that T S Eliot may have had Roswell in mind when he wrote the final stanza of his poem "The Hollow Men":
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.
I also couldn't help thinking that "The Hollow Men" could easily refer to a group of gentlemen who have been squeezing Roswell dry for decades. It's interesting -- and, to be honest, refreshing -- that the author does not mention any of these men by name, but only says:
"And while the U.S.’ leading UFOlogy speakers have driven or flown in from all over the country for this, Roswell’s conservative Christians have skipped town, saving up their vacation days to beat the crowds and blasphemous alien rhetoric."
The article goes on say how much money the UFO industry brings into Roswell every year, and it's a staggering amount.
"Roswell’s UFO museum brings in 175,000 viewers each year, more than any other single museum venue in New Mexico. The city takes in half a million dollars in revenue from the festival weekend alone (a lot for a small Southwestern city), and UFO museum director Mark Briscoe tells me that the museum’s economic impact on the community is 24 million dollars per year."
Jesus can't even come close to matching that kind of cash, so I doubt that the UFO folks will be asked to leave Roswell any time soon. Still, the article leaves no doubt that, with so few people left alive who have any real connection to the Roswell saucer crash story, there just isn't a whole lot left keeping the narrative alive...

So, who knows? Maybe the Roswell mythos would have died on its own without the help of the Roswell Slides fiasco.



Anonymous said...

I for one, will be happy if the Roswell story finally dies on the vine. It's almost 70 years ago and there will never be a definitive answer. It's all about cashing in these days.

Tom said...

The Pope’s chief astronomer, Father Gabriel Funes, said that the existence of extraterrestrials does not preclude a belief in God, and that it’s a question to be explored by the Catholic Church.

Father Gabriel Funes, the chief astronomer of the Vatican, said in an interview to the Vatican paper, Osservatore Romano last year:

“Just like there is an abundance of creatures on earth, there could also be other beings, even intelligent ones, that were created by God. That doesn’t contradict our faith, because we cannot put boundaries to God’s creative freedom. As saint Francis would say, when we consider the earthly creatures to be our “brothers and sisters”, why couldn’t we also talk about a “extraterrestrial brother”? He would still be part of creation.”

Personally, regarding the existence of God, I'm an agnostic.
Regarding the existence of aliens, I lean between being agnostic & a believer.

Lastly, I suspect Roswell's ufo-related tourism dollars will diminish.

Jack Brewer said...

It was all going just fine until those pesky kids and their dog started snooping around.